Babcock juggles third and fourth lines; team looks for Mrazek to bounce back

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to taking on the Minnesota Wild tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings coach Mike Babcock has switched up his third and fourth lines.

He’s got Riley Sheahan centering Drew Miller and Luke Glendening, while Joakim Andersson will center Stephen Weiss and Teemu Pulkkinen.

For Andersson, it’s the first time he’ll play center all season.

“Working down low in the D-zone is the biggest difference I would say,” Andersson said. “Playing wing, on the wall, you have to get the pucks out and stuff. It’s stuff you’re not used to and breaking out of the zone when we rim the puck up the walls, you’re not used to that as a center, otherwise not too much.”

When Andersson had been in the lineup he was playing wing alongside Glendending, who centered the line, and Miller.

“The way we play we try and have all three forwards doing everything right,” Andersson said. “The first guy will play down low, as a winger you might not have as much responsibility to be the third guy. We have to have all three guys doing everything.”

Andersson has a goal and four assists in 34 games this season.

Petr Mrazek will be back in goal. Mrazek was pulled on Sunday after allowing three goals on seven shots against the Buffalo Sabres.

“The team was brutal, let’s be honest,” Babcock said of his team’s 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Sabres. “He was part of it. No one was prepared to play. He never got an opportunity to play in the second and third when everyone else got an opportunity to bail themselves out, so he has an opportunity here. That’s what the league is about, it’s an everyday league. Part of being a young guy is when you have success is you dwell on the success instead of getting ready for tomorrow. You have these lapses in back to back games with young guys, so here’s an opportunity to bounce back.”


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